Tiffany writes in praise of the press

HE concludes his essay in today’s Sunday Herald newspaper: “It will be the deepest irony of all …if the Scottish people wake up in an independent country, and find they have to buy an English newspaper to read of their glorious new status.”

So writes the associate director at the National Theatre of Scotland, John Tiffany, ahead of his company’s new play, Enquirer, about the state of the newspaper industry.

He continues: “Every word spoken in Enquirer has come from those interviews: this is journalists on journalism. Instead of fictionalising their experiences or their words, we are finding theatrical ways to use the exact words and give them life. It’s a process of editing, arranging and structuring that text to find the best way to tell the story. Many theatre-makers instinctively feel a kinship with the notion that great journalism will ‘speak truth to power’. Newspapers have always been a real part of the culture of theatre. And for us that’s important.

“It was the Herald newspaper that sparked [NTS artistic director and chief executive] Vicky [Featherstone’s] idea to get playwright Gregory Burke and I to create Black Watch. She read two stories about the Black Watch: one about its amalgamation into the Scottish regiment, another about three soldiers and their Iraqi translator, who were blown up by a suicide bomber.”

Enquirer is being performed at The Hub, Pacific Quay, Glasgow, from Thursdsay to the 13th of next month.